LTA carried out more than 4,600 enforcement operations in first half of 2019

Impounded PMDs seen during an enforcement operation against errant users in June 2019. (PHOTO: Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — More than 4,600 enforcement operations were conducted islandwide in the first half of this year, with over 1,700 active mobility offences detected, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA)’s active mobility director in response to recent forum letters on personal mobility device (PMD) regulations.

In a letter published online on Friday (12 July), Kenneth Wong added that apart from stepping up “round the clock” enforcement to deter irresponsible PMD riders, the authority is studying other initiatives.

“Public safety is always the top priority. The LTA shares writers’ views for a more expedient and effective way of identifying errant PMD users,” said Wong.

For instance, he cited the LTA’s implementation of a compulsory e-scooter registration regime earlier this year, where all e-scooter users have to prominently display an identification number on their devices.

As of the registration deadline on 30 June, more than 85,000 e-scooters have been registered with the authority.

From 1 July, a first-time offenders who ride unregistered an e-scooter on public paths can be jailed up to three months and/or fined up to $2,000. Those who make false declarations during their e-scooter registration can be jailed up to 12 months and/or fined up to $5,000.

The LTA will be launching a new feature in the MyTransport.SG mobile app later this month which will allow the public to send photos or videos of errant riders and their device identification numbers to the authority, Wong said.

The authority will also trial the use of CCTVs and video analytics to detect active mobility offences at key hotspots and infrastructural enhancements will also be carried out where space permits, he added.

“Singapore is not alone in dealing with disruptions in our lives brought by nascent technology like PMDs,” stressed Wong.

“Like many cities, we are trying to find a good balance between ensuring public safety, while promoting the use of PMDs for our first and last mile journeys.”

Rather than applying a blanket ban on all PMDs, however, inculcating “a gracious culture where users ride safely and responsibly would be a better solution”, he added.

During a parliamentary session in May, several members of parliament (MPs) had called for PMDs to be banned from public footpaths and void deck spaces, given the recent spate of PMD accidents involving pedestrians.

In response, Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Lam Pin Min said that the Ministry of Transport had no plans to ban the use of PMDs in such spaces.

However, he added that town councils can set and enforce their own rules - and even ban - the use of PMDs at void decks.

Since early this year, the speed limit on public footpaths for PMDs and bicycles was brought down from 15km/hr to 10km/hr.

Since last year, they must also not exceed 20kg and 70cm in width and have a capped speed of 25km/hr before they can be used on such footpaths.

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